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Beijing raises fares on public transport

China Daily, December 29, 2014 Adjust font size:

Beijing's public transportation system adopted a new fare structure on Sunday in the first ticket price rise in seven years, and authorities warned of a crowded rush hour on Monday as passengers familiarize themselves with the new system.

A train approaches the Jianguomen Station of the metro in Beijing, Dec 27, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

A train approaches the Jianguomen Station of the metro in Beijing, Dec 27, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

The minimum price of a subway ride in the capital has been increased to 3 yuan from the old flat-fare of 2 yuan with unlimited transfers, with fares increasing according to the distance traveled. For bus passengers, a ride will be 2 yuan for up to 10 kilometers and 1 yuan for every additional 5 km.

The capital's public transportation fares were last adjusted in 2007, when authorities adopted low ticket prices to encourage the use of public transport to ease road traffic congestion.

The subway system closed at 9 pm on Saturday-about two hours earlier than usual-to upgrade the facilities and infrastructure for the new fares.

The impact of the new fares was immediately felt on Sunday morning when subway passengers had decreased as of 9 am by 10 percent from the previous week to 399,600.

Even so, the new system resulted in longer lines at ticket booths and machines at some subway stations, and the capital's subway companies mobilized more than 8,000 volunteers to help passengers buy tickets.

Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun has called on the subway operators to be better prepared for the morning rush hour on Monday, Beijing News reported.

Chen Juan, deputy chief with the Liangmaqiao section of Beijing Subway Line 10, said the subway staff had a sleepless night adjusting the equipment and facilities for the new fare system.

"We will be on full readiness for the next week to help passengers getting used to the new fare system," she said.

Chen said the station, which has 100,000 passenger trips a day, has also drafted contingency plans.

The station, which is the closest subway station to many embassies and embassy housing complexes, has also organized English training for its staff to be able to explain the new fare scheme to foreign expats, she said.

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